The Watson family, coming from the Edgefield District of South Carolina, played a small part in the early history of Pulaski County.
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Watson and his son, Jacob Watson II came to Pulaski County in its early age (date unknown), just before the town of Hartford was organized in 1811. Jacob Watson I did not stay in Pulaski long, moving to Tennessee, Jacob Watson II remaining a citizen of Hartford. He was a sergeant in the Allen Tooke Company and served as a lieutenant under R. E. Thomas, captain, in the War of 1812, serving at Fort Mitchell from November 22, 1814, to November 9, 1817. He was later appointed one of the commissioners of Hartford by the Legislature. Hartford was governed by commissioners appointed by the Legislature.
After marrying Mary Pugh, they moved to Hawkinsville. Soon afterward it was thought best to move the town to the west side of the Ocmulgee River. The west side of the river was now free of Indians, and was a much healthier location. He always took an active part in politics and the welfare of the county or wherever he was located. To Jacob Watson II and his wife, Mary Pugh Watson, were born the following sons and daughters: James, William, Willis, Thomas, Jacob III, Oren, Mary, Caroline, and Georgia Ann.
All of these sons served in the Civil War except Thomas, who died before the war. Three died during the war. Of these ten children, only two became permanent citizens in Pulaski County. Mary, the oldest daughter, married Andrew Jackson Coalson, a citizen of Pulaski County. Mary Watson Coalson died soon after her marriage.
Jacob Watson III was born in Hawkinsville on December 22, 1832. When a young man he studied law in Thomasville, Ga., and was admitted to the bar there. He served through the War Between the States in Company L, Savannah Guards, Batten Infantry. In February 1866, Jacob Watson III became a citizen of Hawkinsville to practice law.
Like his father, he took great active interest in politics and all public affairs. He was appointed judge, serving the county one year, until the county judgeship was organized. He also served as mayor of Hawkinsville, as county school commissioner, and as trustee of public schools. He spent the last days of his life as a useful citizen of Pulaski County until his death on July 17, 1901. He married Sibbee Gertrude Wilcox, and six children were born to them. They are as follows: Virginia Lea (Mrs. Lea Watson Walker, deceased), Ida Sofronia (now Mrs. Ida Watson Grant), Carrie Pooler, Sarah Elizabeth (now Mrs. Bessie Watson Anderson), Margaret Ann (now Mrs. Ulla Wilson), and Oren Wilcox Watson (deceased).
Of Jacob Watson’s children only two became permanent citizens of Pulaski County. Mrs. Lea Watson Walker and Mrs. Bessie Watson Anderson were the two who made their home in Pulaski County.
Mrs. Lea Watson Walker, like the ancestors, took a willing and active part in politics and all public affairs of the town and county until her death on March 5, 1929. She was a prominent member of the Hawkinsville Baptist Church.
Mrs. Bessie Watson Anderson is the only member of the Watson family now living in Pulaski County. She also is a member of the Baptist Church, and takes an active part in all church affairs. She carries on the tradition of the Watson family.